Category Archives: news

Current news in OS & OT

Overview of the OT Curriculum

Interested in understanding the curriculum of the MScOT program at U of T, and the theoretical frameworks that shape it? This video will tell you all about the curriculum, and the Educational and Professional Conceptual Frameworks.

screen capture from video

Also, read about the Educational Conceptual Framework (ECF) and the Professional Conceptual Framework (PCF), and access the e-learning modules on the ECF on our site at MScOT Program & Curriculum Materials.

Image of Paula Szeto receiving 2016-17 Exceptional Fieldwork Teaching Award

Remembering Paula Szeto

Extraordinary occupational therapist Paula Szeto is remembered by the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy for her commitment to outstanding education, her consistent kindness, and her strong advocacy. Paula passed away on September 5, 2018.

After graduating from the occupational therapy program at the University of Toronto in 1997, Paula started her career at Community Occupational Therapy Associates (COTA) and later worked at St John’s Rehab.  She joined Hillcrest Hospital in 1998, which merged with Toronto Rehabilitation Institute – University Health Network (UHN)’s University Centre in 2013, and was a vibrant member of this team.

Image of Paula Szeto and colleagues receiving 2017-17 Fieldwork Supervision Recognition Aaward

Paula was a superb educator in her program at UHN, and at the University of Toronto. She was a status-only lecturer for many years and brought warmth and energy to teaching and research. Her passion, teaching ability, and humour in the classroom made her a memorable instructor. She was active in many courses, always willing to participate when needed in classes, labs, workshops, and other learning activities.

Paula was a favourite mentor in the mentorship course, and dozens of students in her mentor groups benefited from their special connection with her. She welcomed students on fieldwork placements and always encouraged students to engage in excellent practice. She was an elected representative of the Council of the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario. The Interprofessional Education program was not exempt from her special contributions – she provided innovative ideas and education to students from many of the health disciplines at University of Toronto and other universities.

Paula won several awards as an educator, including her most recent award — the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy Community Partners Award for Exceptional Fieldwork Teaching — that recognized her sustained excellence in fieldwork teaching for over 15 years. Paula also received a Fieldwork Supervision Recognition Award from the Department, and the 2018 Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists’ Fieldwork Educator Award of Excellence, ‘to acknowledge the contribution of a practice educator who demonstrates exceptional performance in student practice teaching and in student mentoring in the workplace, and who represents a gold standard in inspiring students to passionately pursue professional practice’.

Paula will be remembered as someone who was always a pleasure to learn with, and to be with. She recognized the strengths in others and helped them, through encouragement and teaching, to develop to their fullest capacity. She will be remembered as a brilliant, compassionate, capable, effervescent personality who had a big smile and a wonderful sense of humour.

Paula will be sadly missed, and always remembered, by the Department’s faculty, staff, and students.

OS&OT Program Information Session

Interested in applying to our program for the 2019 admission cycle? Want to learn more about what we have to offer?

The Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, along with the Department of Physical Therapy, will be holding information sessions in October at the Rehabilitation Sciences Building located at 500 University Avenue, in Room 140.

Prospective applicants have an opportunity to learn about the professions from faculty members and ask admission questions directly to the Student Liaison Officer. Prospective applicants also have an option of participating in a facility tour given by our current students.

Date for Admission Cycle 2019-2020: October 25, 2018 REGISTRATION CLOSED

• Registration begins at 3:30 pm
• Presentation begins at 4:15 pm
• Entire session ends at 5:45 pm (including the tour).

Registration is now closed. If you registered for this event.

Information about applying for our MScOT program can be found here.

TA Positions in September

There are 1-2 Teaching Positions coming available in September for the OCT1262Y Course Enabling Occupation with Adults: Part II
The course focuses on enabling strategies and interventions related to a variety of musculoskeletal conditions and mental health issues across a variety of practice areas and settings.
The deadline for applications is July 23rd. This is a term position from September 2018 to April 2019.

More information

Dr. Patty Rigby Awarded 2018 CAOT Life Membership

Congratulations to Dr. Patty Rigby, who has just been honoured with the 2018 Life Membership Award from the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the profession of Occupational Therapy in research, practice and teaching.

Patty obtained a Diploma in Occupational Therapy from the University of Alberta in 1976, her MHSc from McMaster University in 1991 and her PhD in Health Sciences from Utrecht University, in the Netherlands, in 2009.  She joined the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy (OS&OT) in 1994. Upon her retirement in 2017, she was awarded Professor Emeritus status, in recognition of her long service and exemplary leadership.

Patty’s research was critical in the development and advancement of one of the most widely recognized OT practice models, the Person-Environment-Occupation (PEO) model, which recognizes the importance of environment as a contributor to occupational performance and health. Through her own research, practice and writing of textbook materials, she also contributed to a ground-breaking shift in our occupational lens: transforming it to encompass and promote the development of children’s ‘play’ as a meaningful occupation, developmental process, and outcome of importance. Her work helped uncover the value in children’s playfulness, influencing the focus and development of future treatment programs and evaluation tools. She has contributed extensively to the literature and evidence base for occupational therapy, producing many peer-reviewed articles and book chapters over the course of her career.

Dr. Rigby is a highly skilled instructor. Her teaching methods and content expertise are greatly valued by students in both the OS&OT program and Rehabilitation Sciences Institute. She was the Graduate Coordinator of UofT’s new MScOT program, from its inception in 2000 until 2007. Her efforts led to the Department awarding her its 2007 Excellence in Service Award. She also oversaw the development of the Student Affairs Committee (SAC), which administers recruitment and admissions, student awards and bursaries, the student handbook, student resources and supports, convocation awards and career preparation sessions for our graduating students.

In her clinician and clinical researcher roles, Patty made significant clinical contributions to pediatric practice during her time at Holland Bloorview, where she worked from 2005 to 2013. Her work has led to advancements in the development and evaluation of assistive technology for children with physical disabilities, which in turn, facilitates their engagement in daily life. As a valued Senior Scientist at Holland Bloorview for 8 years, Patty was awarded their highest honour, the Circle of Honour Award, in 2008.

Beginning in 2011, Dr. Rigby assumed leadership of the OS & OT Department’s alumni relations at U of T, despite earning all her degrees from other universities. Through her organization of events and oversight of media broadcasts, she has been responsible for attracting greater interest and involvement of alumni. She created an alumni page within the Departmental website to profile OT alumni achievements and assembled groups of alumni to plan and organize events, resulting in more active engagement of OT alumni in the Department’s affairs and alumni networking. Patty continues to take a leadership role in planning and organizing events and activities to celebrate the centenary of occupational therapy education at the University of Toronto throughout 2018. Her mentoriship of others through these service activities, and her teaching and research, has been extraordinary.

Dr. Rigby is truly a gift to our profession. Her work and personal influence has been and continues to be important to the development and advancement of occupational therapy, both within Canada, and on an international level.

We could not be happier or more proud to celebrate the achievements of this worthy recipient of CAOT’s Life Membership Award!

Job opportunity: Research Coordinator

A limited-term position for a research coordinator is currently available.  The incumbent will provide research and administrative support to the Principal Investigator for projects related to aging and assistive technology.

View our Job Opportunities page for additional information about this position with links to the full job posting and instructions for applying.

Nominate an OT Mentor

Do you know an OT who would be a great mentor for the Building Practice through Mentorship course? Each OT mentor works with a small group of students to build reflective practice skills and support professional development throughout the two years of the Occupational Therapy program. Mentors are experienced OTs who are exemplary role models, have strong group facilitation skills, and are nominated by colleagues or past students.
Make a nomination by emailing the course coordinators (see below) with the name and email of the proposed mentor, and a short statement of why you think they would be a great mentor.
Mentors will be selected for the St. George campus and the UT Mississauga campus.
Please contact the Mentorship Course Coordinators for more information or to make a nomination.

Lynn Cockburn and Anne Fourt

MScOT Program is Growing

We are pleased to announce that the MScOT program at University of Toronto is expanding, with 40 new spots becoming available at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) Campus for September 2018.  This expansion responds to both high demand for spots in our program and the anticipated growth in the Peel Region.  The program will share space with Mississauga Academy of Medicine (MAM) students in the beautiful Terrence Donnelly Health Sciences Complex. Read more: Medicine Expands Occupational Therapy Program to UTM and Doing What We Love.

Department of OS & OT Logo

Job Postings: Assistant and Assistant/Associate Professor, Tenure Stream

We are pleased to announce that the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy is seeking two new tenure stream faculty members. The University and the Department are strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from racialized persons/persons of colour, women, Indigenous/Aboriginal People of North America, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ
persons, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.

View our Job Opportunities page for additional information about these positions with links to the full job posting and instructions for applying.